One of the main reasons that long-time iOS users refuse to move over to Android is iMessage. Apple's messaging solution is light years ahead of the stock messaging app on Android and on par with industry leaders such as WhatsApp and Telegram. Android Messages, on the other hand, still relies on SMS and lacks a lot of critical features that are essential. The prospect of paying money to send a string of text might is absurd at this point, and it's time for SMS to die.
We all know how Google's in-house messaging solution ended up, and at this point, it doesn't look like they're even trying. Instead, the company is shifting focus on Android Messages and trying to bring it on par with iMessage via RCS. With RCS, you get features such as group chat, high-res photo sharing, read receipts and the likes with the notable exception of end-to-end encryption—a feature that'll continue to remain absent for the foreseeable future.
RCS Universal Profile 1.0 is now supported on T-Mobile, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Note 9 are now listed as being supported with RCS Universal Profile 1.0. They join the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, which were the first two devices to gain support, as well as the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy S8 Active. We can expect other devices to join that list shortly.
Universal Profile is a standard set of features and technical specs for the adoption and deployment of RCS from carriers and phone makers. Google has partnered up with several carriers and OEMs and is working together to roll out RCS globally. It may be several years before everyone gets on board, but things look promising, at least in some regions. It is virtually impossible for Google to convince every carrier and OEM to jump on board, so the feature won't be as 'standard' as they hope for it to be.
News Source: Droid Life